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CUC’s new chief electrical engineer is also a fencing referee

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THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has a new chief electrical engineer, Anne R. Crocket, who is also a certified international fencing referee.

Crocket started working for CUC on Nov. 9, 2020 and was introduced by CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho to the board in its recent meeting.

Crocket told Variety that the main scope of her work at CUC “will be to support improvements to the electrical distribution systems on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.”

She said she graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania in 1981 and went to work for the Jersey Central Power & Light Co., “which is part of one of the largest electric companies in the country.”

She said she worked there in various positions for nine years and then took a job as manager of engineering and operations at the Vermont Electric Cooperative.

“The experience I gained there has been beyond value as I was the only engineer on staff and was responsible for a wide range of things,” Crocket said.

She later moved to the Green Mountain Power Company where she “spent a short time before joining a consulting firm out of Augusta, Maine, but in their Vermont office.”

She added,  “I worked on a variety of projects there before moving out on my own in 2006.  I stayed self-employed for the next 14 years, working for most of Vermont’s 17 electric utilities, though I had five clients that provided majority of the work.”

With the onset of Covid-19, Crocket said, “Things slowed down to a point where I decided that going back to a utility was the best option.”

She said there are public utility organization websites that advertise job openings: New England Public Power Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and American Public Power Association.

She said she found the listing for a chief electrical engineer at CUC on the APPA site and applied, “thinking that it would be an interesting place to work — so, I am here now!”

As for fencing, Crocket said she learned it in college but stopped after graduation. 

“Then, in 2004, I was looking for a way to exercise when the municipal recreation department at Green Mountain offered a course for adults,” she said.

“I figured that it would be a good way to exercise, as I remembered it being fun. So, I started the classes and was subsequently talked into participating in an over-40 event at a local tournament. At that point, I was hooked, as the people were all very welcoming.”

The following year, the Green Mountain Division of the U.S. Fencing Association talked her into being the chairperson.    “I took the standard course in rules, and passed the exam,” she said.

“The course instructor also convinced me to try being a referee at a national tournament, so I attended my first one in March of 2006.  That was so much fun that I started attending as many as I could,” she said.

“Eventually, I was sent to El Salvador to test for an international referee rating.  I passed and earned an FIE (Federation Internationale d'Escrime) rating and began traveling internationally to referee.”

Crocket said she coached the University of Vermont fencing team from 2005 to 2020, and also competed locally and nationally. 

“At my last national tournament,  I was one of two competitors over 60, but I managed to finish 92 of 195 against the best fencers in the country. As for my team, I had two individual national champions and two squads that were national champions at the U.S. Association of Collegiate Clubs championships.  This is not the NCAA, but I am still proud of my kids.”

Crocket said she is interested in starting a grass-roots fencing program in the CNMI.

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